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The women’s V12-500m race was narrowly won by Tahiti.

Photo/Brian Hagi, Pacific Games News Service

Sports

Pacific Games 2023: Tahiti take gold in va'a, while netball serves up some one-sided matches

While Tahiti dominated their competitors on the ocean, the netball court saw some fierce opening round competition.

Vaimaila Leatinu'u
Aui'a Vaimaila Leatinu'u
Published
28 November 2023, 4:34pm
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Tahiti's va'a team made history setting a new record and collecting two of the four gold medals on first day of va'a or outrigger canoe paddling.

Taputu Temoana of Tahiti took gold in the men's V1-500M, which features a single paddler, with a record time of 2 minutes and 23 seconds.

Following behind Temoana is New Caledonia's Legras Maels with 2 minutes 29 seconds.

Andre Tutaka George of the Cook Islands scooped up bronze in a close race with Wallis and Futuna's Tuauoifenua Jacky.

Tahiti's other gold came from the women's V12-500m, which features a team of 12, taking the top spot with a time of 2 minutes 22 seconds.

New Caledonia won silver with only a four-second difference, while Fiji claimed bronze with 2 minutes 32 seconds.

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Meanwhile, in the women's singles V1500, Elenoa Vateiti of Fiji won gold with a time of 2 minutes and 50 seconds.

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Speaking to Pacific Games News Service (PGNS), Vateiti says: "All glory and praise go back to God above.

"The race today was really challenging, given the conditions at the outside lane.

"But thanks to his provision I managed to come this far."

Vateiti says the competing teams full of "strong and powerful women from other Pacific Island countries" also added fuel to her fire.

"Va'a is such a small sport back at home; to have come here and put up such a performance is really reassuring for the sport in terms of progress and growth."

Samoa's Anne Cairns gained silver another four-second difference behind Vateiti, while Norfolk Island's Ada Nabauer won bronze.

Netball: Double-digit victories highlight the teams to beat

The first day of netball begun yesterday where Tonga, Cook Islands, Fiji and Samoa dominated their opening matches with some vicious margins.

Among the many overwhelming victories, Tonga stood out, winning two of their first-day matches, thrashing Niue 90-17 then finishing off Papua New Guinea 62-45 in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Cook Islands team reminded everyone why they won gold in 2019's Pacific Games with a crushing defeat against Vanuatu 84-13.

The Cook Island defending champions took on Vanuatu at Honiara's Friendship Hall. Photo/Paul Fefera, Pacific Games News Service

Speaking to PGNS, captain Romehael Rauraa says the game plan is focusing on the next step rather than looking too far ahead.

"We will just be taking each game as it comes," Rauraa says.

"One game at a time and see what we need to work on, expecting to always improve in every game we play as the competition progresses."

However, seven-time gold medalists Fiji made their return this year after missing out on the last Pacific Games.

The fan-favourites took on hosts Solomon Islands and made a promising delivery on their gold-winning reputation with a 90-25 win.

Samoa beat Norfolk Island 73-14, in which captain Abigail Latu-Meafou told PGNS that their win is a good sign for things to come.

"We know this is a great opportunity for us to boost our rankings, so we will be going for the top 10," Latu-Meafou says.

Day seven medal tally wrap

New Caledonia continued on their winning ways, holding a 20 gold margin over second place, with a total of 61.

Australia follow in second adding one gold medal on day seven for a total of 29.

Tahiti, who recently pushed Samoa out of third place, added three gold yesterday for a total of 25.

Day seven total medals earned wrap

New Caledonia lead with 139 total medals earned, while Tahiti is second with 94 then Australia at 56.

Other day seven results

Fiji have 45 medals total, Cook Islands and Tonga have 11 apiece followed by Kiribati with seven.

New Zealand ended day seven with a total of 22 with seven gold, six silver and nine bronze.

Keep up with us to keep up to date with this year's Pacific Games on our site: pmn.co.nz or through our socials: Instagram, TikTok and X (formerly known as Twitter).

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